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Write an essay on Oedipus the King. Explain the behavior of up to 3 characters using the concepts of psychoanalytic theory. Explore no more than 2 psychoanalytic concepts per character. You may apply the same concept to different characters.
Outside Sources: 1 primary source and at least 2 secondary sources
– Primary Source: the play. Use no more than 10 lines of quotations (20% of the overall paper) in your essay.
– Secondary Source: an author or critic who helps to analyze, interpret, or otherwise comment on the primary source (or on the playwright). Secondary sources will be found only in a scholarly source (a peer-reviewed essay or article) Psychoanalytic Criticism – Definitions
1. The unconscious: The storehouse of those painful experiences and emotions, those wounds and fears, guilty desires, and unresolved conflicts we do not want to know about because we feel we will be overwhelmed by them 2. Repression: The expunging (or wiping out) of those unhappy psychological events from childhood from our consciousness 3. Oedipal conflict: Competition with the parent of the same gender for the attention and affection of the parent of the opposite gender 4. Sibling rivalry: Competition with siblings for the attention and affection of parents
5. Defenses: The processes by which the contents of our unconscious are kept in the unconscious 6. Selective perception: Hearing and seeing only what we feel we can handle 7. Selective memory: Modifying our memories so that we don’t feel overwhelmed by them or forgetting painful events entirely 8. Denial: Believing that the problem doesn’t exist or the unpleasant incident never happened 9. Avoidance: Staying away from people or situations that are liable to make us anxious by stirring up some unconscious—i.e., repressed—experience or emotion.
10. Displacement: “Taking it out” on someone or something less threatening than the person who caused our fear, hurt, frustration, or anger
11. Projection: Ascribing our fear, problem, or guilty desire to someone else and then condemning him or her for it, in order to deny that we have it ourselves 12. Regression: The temporary return to a former psychological state, which is not just imagined but relived 13. Active reversal: The acknowledgement and working through of repressed experiences and emotions, because we can alter the effects of a wound only when we relive the wounding experience 14. Anxiety: A state of being when our defenses momentarily break down 15. Fear of intimacy: The chronic and overpowering feeling that emotional closeness will seriously hurt or destroy us and that we can remain emotionally safe only by remaining at an emotional distance from others at all times 16. Fear of abandonment: The unshakeable belief that our friends and loved ones are going to desert us physically or don’t really care about us emotionally.
17. Fear of betrayal: The nagging feeling that our friends and loved ones can’t be trusted, for example, can’t be trusted not to lie to us, not to laugh at us behind our backs, or in the case of romantic partners, not to cheat on us by dating others 18. Low self-esteem: The belief that we are less worthy than other people and, therefore, don’t deserve attention, love, or any other of life’s rewards. Indeed, we often believe that we deserve to be punished by life in some way.